I Am A Lab Rat For The UTSSHP

How will the next generation of physical therapists get their training?


Mid October, I’ll be facing a group of impossibly young (from my standpoint, anyway) people – yet they’re the ones who will be nervous. They’re students at various levels of training at the University of Texas Southwestern School of Health Professions.

I’m the lab rat they’ll be practicing what they learned on.

Squeek! (Not my actual picture.)

It won’t be the first time that the students will have poked, prodded, shot me with electricity, hit me with hammers, or used tuning forks on my pink little body. With luck, it won’t be the last either. This has been going on for a while now. Whenever the school contacts me, I’ll come in as a volunteer practice patient.

Actually, it’s quite an honor to do this. It was students initially trained at the School of Health Professions who first started my therapy after my stroke two years ago. It was people they trained at the Gait Disorders Clinic who worked with me to regain the ability to walk again after the hospital discharged me.

It’s not an exaggeration to say I wouldn’t be as far into my recovery if it weren’t for that school. So, when they call, I gladly go – for as long as they need me.

It’s a way of giving back. If no one is there to aid those new therapists in their quest to be the best, how will they learn? How will they practice?

How will they know how an actual patient reacts, if they don’t practice with one now?

That’s my part, my contribution. Damn glad to give it, too.


John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewis@aqualifeadventures.com . To see his product write-ups on LinkedIn, join the group Products In Search of A Market . On Facebook, join Products in Search of a Market (Facebook).




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